Watching for reckless
driving on 290
Kicking off aggressive driving
Updated: Monday, 18 May 2009, 7:52 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 18 May 2009, 12:00 PM EDT
- Joe Arena
- Posted by: Emily Lenihan
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Aggressive drivers beware - State Police are cracking down.
The State Police, Tonawanda, and Amherst Police have a message for drivers
State Police Captain Steve Nigrelli said, "You drive aggressively on the Youngman Highway, we will ticket you. That's what it is."
And authorities say there no tolerance initiative on aggressive driving on the 290 will last throughout the summer.
More than a hundred thousand drivers are on the Youngman Expressway every day and authorities say most of them either tailgate, speed, or don't use signals to change lanes.
Police say what leads to many accidents is that drivers aren't always aware of the speed limits.
Scott Lawida of the Amherst Police said, "A lot of the motorists are going much faster than 55 up there because parts of the other thruway are 70 miles per hour and some of them mistakenly think that the speed limit here is also 70."
Officials also say way too many drivers are speeding through work zones, which puts more than just other drivers in danger, and can cost you more than just a few dollars if your pulled over.
Captain Nigrelli said, "Obviously the fines are doubled in work zones, but also if you have two convictions in a work zone, your license is also automatically suspended for 60 days."
That could make the commute to and from work not so easy.
AAA defensive driving course
Local police departments say they've had enough with reckless drivers on the 290.
In an effort to stop aggressive driving, New York State Troopers and Amherst and Town of Tonawanda police are kicking off a safety initiative with an aggressive driving enforcement program.
Representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation were also on hand Monday morning off Millersport highway.
Officials say this new safety initiative will focus on increasing enforcement on the Youngman Memorial Highway throughout the summer.
They say the Youngman is somewhat of a breeding ground for aggressive behavior behind the wheel.
"Interstate 290 carries about 112 thousand vehicles a day and experiences an average of 200 total accidents per year. Of these accidents, about 99 accidents a year, almost fifty percent of the total, result in injuries," said Al Taylor of the New York State D.O.T.